1. Department of Laboratory Medicine, Fujian Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fujian, China.
2. Department of Pediatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fujian, China.
Background: There are limited data regarding the efficacy of addition of entecavir (ETV) or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) to Peg-IFNα-2b in HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients without early response to Peg-IFNα-2b. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of ETV and TDF in HBeAg positive CHB patients who had a poor response to Peg-INFα-2b at the end of 12 weeks of monotherapy.
Methods: A total of 40 HBeAg-positive CHB patients who were naive to antiviral therapy were recruited. The patients received a subcutaneous injection of Peg-IFNα-2b (180 µg) once a week for 12 weeks. However, the patients had a poor response to Peg-INFα-2b at the end of the 12-week-period monotherapy. The patients were then divided into two therapeutic protocol groups: (1) Group A: Patients received Peg-IFNα-2b (180 µg) subcutaneously weekly and ETV (0.5 mg) orally once daily for 48 weeks; (2) Group B: Patients received Peg-IFNα-2b (180 µg) subcutaneously weekly and TDF (300 mg) orally once daily for 48 weeks. The therapeutic efficacy was evaluated. Blood samples were collected at baseline and every 12 weeks. Routine biochemical tests including ALT, AST, etc. were measured by automated biochemical technique. HBV DNA was quantified using the TaqMan PCR assay. The levels of HBsAg, HBsAb, HBeAg, HBeAb and HBcAb were measured using a commercial chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay.
Results: The HBsAg level declined rapidly in both two treatment groups during the first 12 weeks and declined gradually in the next 36 weeks. At week 48, the mean ΔHBsAg level in Peg-IFNα-2b+TDF group was significantly higher than that in Peg-IFNα-2b +ETV group (-1.799 ± 0.3063 vs. -1.078 ± 0.2028, P=0.0491). The HBeAg loss rate was significantly higher in TDF add-on group than that in ETV add-on group at week 48 (40% vs. 10%, P=0.028). At week 48, the proportions of patients with undetectable HBV DNA (<500 IU/mL) were 80% (16 out of 20) and 95% (19 out of 20) in Peg-IFNα-2b+ETV group and Peg-IFNα-2b+TDF group, respectively.
Conclusions: This real world study demonstrated that the efficacy of addition of TDF to Peg-IFNα-2b is superior to the efficacy of addition of ETV to Peg-IFNα-2b in HBeAg positive CHB patients with a poor response after 12 weeks of Peg-IFNα-2b treatment alone. However, this present study also requires a larger sample size study to verify in the future.
Keywords: Chronic Hepatitis B, Tenofovir, Entecavir, Interferon-α, Combination Therapy